The majority of sports games we watch don’t provide anything that leaves a long-lasting impression. But every now and then, you see something so unique that in the moment, you know you’ll never forget it.
On Saturday, we got one of those moments.
With less than a minute to go in the third period of a game against the Vancouver Canucks, Boston Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark scored a goal.
The Canucks tipped a puck into the attacking zone that trickled to Ullmark’s right. Instead of waiting for one of his defenseman to clear it, Ullmark got out from between his pipes, controlled the puck, and launched it nearly 200 feat into an empty net to give the visitors a 3-1 lead and put the game on ice (pun intended).
Even though he was wearing a mask, Ullmark’s joy after accomplishing the rare feat was undeniably visible, and his teammates erupted in celebration after their netminder scored.
🚨 GOALIE GOAL 🚨
The Bruins’ Linus Ullmark scores from LONG RANGE. 😱
— theScore (@theScore) February 26, 2023
“I’m ecstatic inside, I’m trying to calm it down now to do this,” Ullmark, who is the favorite to win the Vezina Trophy as the league’s best goalie, said in a post-game press conference. “I can’t really, it’s hard to describe what I’m feeling right now. I have to kind of digest it all. I’m just so bloody happy.”
Ullmark further added that this was something he’s had on his mind for a long time.
“It’s one of the dreams I’ve always had that I wanted to score a goal and, you know, I had the opportunity,” Ullmark said.
He also stopped 26 of 27 shots on the night, so he could also take some pride in his stellar performance
Ullmark became only the eight NHL goalie to score a goal in a game, and the first in the 99-year NHL history of the Bruins.
13 different goalies have been credited with 16 goals, but Ullmark’s was just the 9th to be attributed to a goalie after taking a direct shot. The remaining seven came from instances where a goalie would be the last to touch the puck for his own team, but then his opponents would score an own goal with the net emptied. There are examples of this in this video.
The Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne was the last goalie to do so on January 9, 2020, and his was on a direct shot as well.
In a way, this instance is a testament on how historic the 2022-23 campaign has been for the Bruins. They currently boast a 45-8-5 record with 95 points and are the odds on favorite to win the Stanley Cup. They are on pace to break league records for points earned in a season, as well as most wins.
But will this success continue in the Stanley Cup playoffs? We’ll find out soon.
For now, the Bruins and head coach Jim Montgomery will relish a moment that they may never see again.
“I’m really happy for him,” Montgomery said. “He almost had one earlier in the year and at the Winter Classic … [Jeremy] Swayman thought about it one game. It’s good to have talented goaltenders.”